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[u1] Custom Map Review: "The Aquaducts" by RedElectroPlasmaBall

Posted: 15 May 2013, 14:18
by Delacroix
Map Information:

Map Title: The Aquaducts
Map Author: RedElectroPlasmaBall
Reviewer: Delacroix
Review Score: 49%
Tagline: Worthy of recognition.

Main Review:

With the recent trends of recovering unique maps from coop servers, the community was given a chance to experience true rare gems in Unreal mapping history. One such gem is RedElectroPlasmaBall's single map The Aquaducts, unearthed by the notorious Bob. The exact date of the map's creation is unknown but it is believed to be a recent creation.

Image
While not necessarily complex, the area certainly looks real.

Given the level's primary purpose is to be played in a cooperative mode rather than solo, there is no storyline existent. A single translator message is present on the level, however due to the fact that in single player game modes one does not receive a universal translator, it can be easily missed and hardly has any purpose anyway. The primary focus of cooperative maps is gameplay and this is where Aquaducts fare quite well. The opposition may appear as strong at times, even overwhelming for the unprepared player but if the areas are explored thoroughly, the map is beatable even in solo mode. Granted, at the beginning health may be a problem if the player does not proceed with caution and gets shot every now and then but there are several armors including a shieldbelt available all across the map.


Entering the catacombs.

The level is quite linear - progression is impossible without opening the routes with switches and levers placed in another location - however it is quite detailed in construction and properly textured. The area is very authentic - a repurposed, modernized ancient aqueduct complete with water-heating mechanisms, sewer systems and other similar features. One may be surprised by the occassional odd tree (growing in a place where sun doesn't reach) but this isn't that omnipresent to be considered a major issue. There are occassional dark areas but the player is offered a searchlight so there is nothing that'd make the progress a pain.


Beware of the currents.

There are certain issues that can make progressing through the level a problem and even successfully halt the player. There is a cracked wall present in the catacomb-like area, which almost asks the player: "shoot me!"... And there's the catch: most of the time it will not yield to any weapon whatsoever, no matter how many times it is shot. The player needs to push it to clear the path. Another issue is the level's ending: luck is required to find the teleporter as it is placed in a spot one'd never think it could be in and its radius is nowhere near enough to find it by accident.

The sound layer of The Aquaducts is quite poor though: ambience is little to none and the track used (Deus Ex' Ocean Lab track 2), despite fitting the setting isn't used in full - don't count on hearing any other sections of the song than the first, exploration section. An important part of every level is its audio layer, the environment can't have a "mute" feel to it which is the case here.

Summary:

While it is made with cooperative play in mind, The Aquaducts is a worthy release and an enjoyable - even if difficult at first - single player experience. Known mainly for Rune map conversions, RedElectroPlasmaBall deserves recognition and praise for his original work like the level described here. Let us hope he does deliver more.

Final Verdict:

BUILD (50%)
Architecture 6
Texturing 7
Lighting 6
Sound 6
Technical Execution 5

CAST (50%)
Conceptual Grandness 6
Story Construction 1
Story Implementation 1
Gameplay Awe 6
Gameplay Balance 5

Total Score: 49%

Download links:

Aquaducts-V1.zip - KlanKAOS

Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "The Aquaducts" by RedElectroPlasmaBall

Posted: 15 May 2013, 15:20
by integration
Oh I saw that map at BobIsUnreal's page. Nice map for singleplayer. The beginning is brilliant, but the sewers are repetitive. You can get lost easily.

It's time to review HerdPack/Csejte. Muhaha jk

Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "The Aquaducts" by RedElectroPlasmaBall

Posted: 15 May 2013, 15:39
by Delacroix
Actually that's what I mean to do.

Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "The Aquaducts" by RedElectroPlasmaBall

Posted: 15 May 2013, 16:30
by integration
o_O Herdpack even takes longer to complete than Redeem Your Space. You can't play it without some allammo cheat. Health supply is also a bit irregular. Otherwise it's a nice experience. Hey, I still have some screenies:

http://i41.tinypic.com/5x3i8m.jpg
http://i42.tinypic.com/30tl085.jpg
http://i39.tinypic.com/b6q91k.jpg
http://i42.tinypic.com/ac6ffd.jpg

Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "The Aquaducts" by RedElectroPlasmaBall

Posted: 22 May 2013, 02:33
by bob
anyone here played rune ? this map i believe uses rune textures.
so this leads me to a interesting question for the rune fans...
This isnt a rune map is it?

Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "The Aquaducts" by RedElectroPlasmaBall

Posted: 22 May 2013, 02:50
by Delacroix
It isn't. It may use Rune textures, but it isn't a Rune map.

Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "The Aquaducts" by RedElectroPlasmaBall

Posted: 22 May 2013, 03:13
by bob
thank you for clearing That up.
i thought about it and freaked out a bit , repb has been know to have ported 1 or more rune maps , my brain just made the connection....

Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "The Aquaducts" by RedElectroPlasmaBall

Posted: 04 Jun 2013, 03:10
by bob
if you want this to get this to the reviews page,
i might have a email address you can contact to get in touch with someone who can contact repb.
[spoiler][email protected][/spoiler] , it's the admin of the server the map came from.

Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "The Aquaducts" by RedElectroPlasmaBall

Posted: 06 Jun 2013, 03:58
by NaPaliShore
Delacroix wrote:Another issue is the level's ending: luck is required to find the teleporter as it is placed in a spot one'd never think it could be in and its radius is nowhere near enough to find it by accident.


I think I killed all the enemies, but couldn't find the teleporter. Is it invisible, or just tucked away in a secret area that I didn't manage to unlock or find the access point to?

I did find the secret way to get a special powerup - that was neat.

Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "The Aquaducts" by RedElectroPlasmaBall

Posted: 06 Jun 2013, 04:22
by Delacroix
The area with the titans, there's a water reservoir in there with plenty squids. The teleporter is by one of the gratings, around the center of the grating.

Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "The Aquaducts" by RedElectroPlasmaBall

Posted: 06 Jun 2013, 05:21
by NaPaliShore
Delacroix wrote:The area with the titans, there's a water reservoir in there with plenty squids. The teleporter is by one of the gratings, around the center of the grating.


Thanks! I thought there must be something if interest in that reservoir, otherwise why would it be guarded by so many squids? But I didn't see anything after swimming around in there a while, so I just gave up and started looking elsewhere...

Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "The Aquaducts" by RedElectroPlasmaBall

Posted: 11 Oct 2013, 12:30
by TheIronKnuckle
Just played this, neat map and I agree with the review completely, right down to the score.

Except for this part
One may be surprised by the occassional odd tree (growing in a place where sun doesn't reach) but this isn't that omnipresent to be considered a major issue

Even if there were omnipresent trees growing places where the son doesn't reach, the purpose of the sole translator message in this map is to handwave it away by putting it down to the mysterious glowing water

Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "The Aquaducts" by RedElectroPlasmaBall

Posted: 11 Oct 2013, 14:13
by makemeunreal
Good review, and badass map there.

Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "The Aquaducts" by RedElectroPlasmaBall

Posted: 11 Nov 2013, 01:02
by Delacroix


As evidenced by this screenshot taken on Jackson's Coop Server which I just noticed is online... RedElectroPlasmaBall has agreed that his maps are reviewed on UnrealSP (with the exception of the Thor map which is a Rune map remade from the groundup). This changes the situation of Aquaducts which so far due to Ividyon's ruling in Zack Coop Maps thread were unable to reach the main site. This is TRULY excellent news!